New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara: Kamara’s average fantasy finish since entering the NFL is RB4. Yet, he’s being drafted as RB9. Injuries and a few less than ideal games last season (three games with less than 8.0 PPR points, two of which came during fantasy playoffs) have apparently swayed the perception of Kamara as a rock-solid RB1. There is also the looming of a potential suspension, the details of which are unclear. That being said, we’re talking about Alvin Kamara. He scored 18+ PPR points in 8/13 games last season and 20+ in 6/13. In 72 career games, he averages a healthy 21.3 PPG. He recorded four or more targets in 11/13 games in 2021. There is an argument to be made that there are a lot of mouths to feed in the pass game, but let’s not forget he’s more than capable of getting it done as a rusher. He is the current (all-time) record holder for RUSHING TDs in a single game (six). That happened just one season prior. This may be the cheapest Kamara will ever be. So if you see him available in the second round, do yourself a favor and don’t hesitate.
Michael Thomas: Thomas’s 149-catch season (NFL record) seems like forever ago. Maybe that’s why he’s currently sitting with an ADP of WR22 (59th overall). Maybe it’s because he’s been hurt for two seasons. Maybe it’s because there will be more competition for targets than ever before. Maybe it’s because Jameis Winston is his QB. Whatever the case, Thomas is expected to be ready by week one. He simply has no business being a fifth/sixth round pick. At the very least, consider him a high-end WR2.
Chris Olave: It’s difficult to project the production of a rookie WR in a crowded offense with several reliable veteran pass-catchers. Olave’s skillset profiles very similarly to teammate Jarvis Landry (reliable hands, crisp routes, smooth/tough after the catch). He is already drawing praise from Winston as “smooth as the other side of the pillow”. The appeal is obvious, but given the information we have, he could end up being fourth in the Saints pecking order for all we know. I wouldn’t risk too much for Olave, but he is certainly worth flier as a WR4/5.
Jarvis Landry: Landry has always been one of, if not, the most underrated players in all of fantasy during his career. I’ve always been a strong proponent of his. This year however, I may be inclined to agree with the pessimism. He is a reliable vet and sure pair of hands, but will likely be behind Thomas, Kamara and possibly even Olave in line for targets. If the injury bug strikes one of the aforementioned players, then Landry would immediately be on the flex radar. For the time being, he projects as nothing more than a sneaky bench stash.
Jameis Winston: We’ve seen him throw for 5,000 yards. We’ve seen him throw 30 TDs. We’ve seen him (and his weapons) become hot fantasy commodities. Yet, we’ve also seen him be, well… Jameis Winston. He is the most recent NFL player to toss 30 INT in a season, still flashes questionable decision-making skills, and is now coming off a torn ACLl. The Saints also brought in Andy Dalton, and are no stranger to rolling Taysom Hill out there. The best case (fantasy) scenario for the Saints offense, Winston starts all season. However, this is far from guaranteed. Right now he is a QB2 with realistic QB1 upside. He is not worth a pick before round 13 in 1QB leagues.
Mark Ingram: The dynamic duo is back. Or is it? Ingram’s efficiency has been on the decline for several seasons. Last time he was a Saint, he split the backfield with Kamara as the thunder to his lightning. It’s unlikely Ingram regains his former role which netted him weekly flex appeal, nevertheless he at least belongs on the flex radar. He is a must-have for anyone who drafts Kamara, especially considering the unpredictability of his legal situation.